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October 23: The Holocaust in Odessa

October 23, 2014
2000px-Razboiul_Sfant_Contra_Bolsevismului_(1941_stamp).svgOn this date in 1941, only a week after the German and Romanian armies had seized control of Odessa, some 5,000 Jews in the city were publicly hanged and shot, and more than 19,000 Jews in the city were assembled in nine gunpowder warehouses at the port and shot dead before the warehouses were set on fire. Following that, an additional 20,000 Jews were led out of the city and massacred in ditches and buildings. The 40,000 Jews who remained in Odessa were moved into a compact ghetto in which most buildings were destroyed. Left outdoors for ten days, many died of exposure to wintry conditions. On October 28th, additional massacres took 5,000 more Jewish lives, and by the end of December, 50,000 Jews imported from concentration camps were killed. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum determines that “Romanian and German forces killed almost 100,000 Jews in Odessa during the occupation of the city,” which came about after a two-month siege. Some 15,000 Roma people were also killed. 12f8e8d20176e8c3d4b2ce0f20d084af_w885_h600“When the first Jews reached Dalnik, they were bound to one another’s arms in groups of between forty and fifty, thrown into an anti-tank ditch and shot dead. When this method proved too slow, they were pressed into four large warehouses, which had holes in the walls. Machine gun nozzles were pushed into the holes, and in this manner, mass murder was committed in one warehouse after the other.” —The Nizkor Project